October 18, 2011

Teaser, Triangles, and Twitter

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I stumbled across this in my web wanderings and thought it would be kind of fun to take part in. Here goes:

"I took a bottle of rubbing alcohol because I vaguely remembered something from a cop show about how to use it as a weapon... And I hoped that whoever was watching on the cameras would assume my theft was a dangerously moronic attempt at getting drunk."
p. 234-5, "Variant" by Robison Wells 

I just started this book last night before bed, so I have no idea how awesome or not-so-awesome it might be. It definitely has potential so far, and it doesn't hurt that this comment is on the cover:

"I loved it! The twist behind it all is my favorite since ENDER'S GAME."
--James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of THE MAZE RUNNER. 

Sweet. Love THE MAZE RUNNER and ENDER'S GAME so much.
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On Love Triangles

I'm not sure where exactly I came across this post by Malinda Lo on Love Triangles in YA, but I thought it raised some really interesting points. Particularly thought-provoking was her suggestion that many of the so-called 'love triangles' in YA more closely resemble a 'V' rather than an actual fully-formed triangle. Huh. Excellent observation, Ms. Lo. 

Take her Vampire Diaries example, for instance: 

Elana is in love with Stefan and also struggles with her feelings for Damon, but that's not what makes it so interesting. The element that kicks the tension up a notch, and makes this a full-fledged love triangle is the relationship that exists between Stefan and Damon as well - they're brothers (nothing kinky implied here, I assure you).

Contrast this with what everyone calls a 'love triangle' in the Twilight series:

Bella may have the hots for Jackward (Jacob + Edward <--my sister and I call it this), but the fact that these guys hate each other intensely, keeps the triangle from fully forming. Get it?

Malinda Lo has some other great examples in her article, all of which really got me thinking about the topic.

Do I hate love triangles like so many other people seem to? No. But they have to be done right. There has to actually be a purpose for them in your story. They shouldn't just be thrown in willy-nilly to create lame tension. Malinda Lo includes a quote from Carrie Ryan, which pretty much sums up how I feel about the love triangle and the valuable function it can serve in a story:

"To me, a love triangle done right isn't about a female character's affections bouncing back and forth between two men, it's about her internal struggle within herself as she figures out who *she* wants to be and what's important to her.  This internal struggle then gets reflected externally as she wars within herself and grows.  And that's the heart of any book -- a character's growth from first page to the last."  --Carrie Ryan, Forest of Hands and Teeth 

Both of these love interests should speak to some aspect of your MC. S/he should conceivably be able to end up with either, though the scale should probably tip a little more to one love interest over the other.

What do you think? Do you hate or love or even just tolerate the love triangle?
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I was one of those people who avoided Twitter like the plague, not really understanding what all the fuss was about. In the end, I caved but only because I wanted to follow authors (like Ally Condie & Veronica Roth) and actors (hmm...no comment) whose careers I was interested in. I wasn't concerned with gaining a following, mainly because it felt like too much work and because the minutiae of my life would hardly interest anyone.

But then last night I got my first follower and I'm still going, "Say what?". My first follower is Bill Cosby's nephew. No joke.

I can only assume it has everything to do with book promotion, since Braxton Cosby just put out a YA sci-fi romance novel in September. 

Still, totally, totally random.  


  1. I'm still warming into Twitter. I initially set up my account because I needed to contact someone, and that was the method of communication they designated. Now that I'm following others and seeing how they use the medium, I'm trying to tweet more often. But as you may have noted, I'm not a man of few words, let alone 140 characters, so it's hard! Good practice for the editing skills. :)

  2. Ha, no kidding! I too have the gift of the gab (more like a bad case of verbal diarrhea). It's definitely a challenge to keep it to 140 characters :)

  3. Thanks for sharing! I've had Variant as a galley for months, and couldn't quite get into it! But seeing that James Dashner compared it to Ender's Game, well, I'll just have to power through! (Going to read Dashner's Death Cure today, woohoo!)
    PS, I love twitter! going to follow you now :D

  4. I just started Variant so I hope I can get into it. We'll see, I guess. I have The Death Cure but needed to read a summary of the last book before diving in (turns out I remember practically nothing). Can't wait though.

    Hey, thanks for following me on Twitter, though I probably don't say anything interesting, lol.


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